To The Daily Sun,
My letter is to make Laconia residents aware of Senate Bill 366, which is due to be heard Wednesday this week in the House, and to ask people to let our county delegation know they are interested in the local property tax relief included in the bill.
The bill passed by the Senate contains property tax relief in the form of reinstated revenue sharing money to local communities that was suspended in 2010 (which totaled about $50.4 million per biennium).
Based on the pre-2010 figures, Laconia, alone could expect to receive in the vicinity of $677,000 per year, or $1.354 million per biennium -- significant money.
One objection to expanded gaming historically is that New Hampshire did not have the regulatory structure needed. Since taken up last session, the Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority put together a regulatory structure that has earned praise.
Gaming has long been a key revenue source for funding our state, as much as 10 percent. It's time to protect local property taxpayers' interests by not ceding it to our neighboring states, and it is time to recognize that not keeping up our state "gaming position" places a unfair burden on communities.
Please join me in support of SB-366.
City Councilor, Ward 3
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 08:59
To The Daily Sun,
It has been estimated that 37 percent of the state roads in New Hampshire are deemed in "poor condition," by the N.H. Department of Transportation. As a resident of the Town of Sandwich, I can verify that all the state-maintained roads in our town are in "poor condition." How did we get here and what can be done to meet the challenge?
The simple answer is that the state has dwindling funds to fix or maintain the roadways that serve our needs. Despite the limitations, the State Department of Transportation has done all it can to maintain the roads. Chris Clement, commissioner of Transportation estimates he has between $32 and $40 million a year to spend on winter maintenance that actually requires more than $100 million. Unfortunately, it costs about $50,000 a mile to resurface a road in decent condition and about $1,000,000 to fix a badly maintained road. In addition, roads less traveled are likely to be ignored and fall deeper and deeper into disrepair.
In the meantime, cars, trucks and buses constantly roll through our giant potholes caused by frost heaves that can raise the broken roadway more than seven inches. Town residents report steering, suspension and alignment problems. It's estimated by TRIP that these repairs can average between $300 and $500.
Roads less traveled can also have an affect on business and social gatherings about town. A trip of a few miles can take 20 minutes after slowing to four miles an hour while avoiding giant holes and cracks in the asphalt.
Unfortunately, repairing roads can be a political, as well as a personal issue. Anti-tax sentiment has consumed the good sense that once recognized that good roads make prosperous communities. The most short-sighted say, "If I don't use that road or bridge, do I really need it?" The sensible answer: "What good is a road that only goes to your house? Being able to drive on roads outside your neighborhood is a good idea."
As the New Hampshire Senate recently voted to raise the gas tax by four cents, Americans for Prosperity-NH came out strongly against the measure. This is the same organization funded by the Koch Brothers, the oil, gas and paper billionaires.
It is estimated that the new levy will bring in an additional $33 million into the general Highway Fund. New Hampshire has not had an increase in the gas tax since 1991 as asphalt charges have quadrupled and fuel-efficient cars bring in fewer gas tax dollars.
I encourage anyone who wants more funding for the Department of Transportation to call your State Representatives at 271-1110 and the governor at 271-2121.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 08:51
To The Daily Sun,
A baby is born addicted to drugs. She survives the painful withdrawal process and goes home with Mom.
Three months later she is hospitalized and her Mom is charged with neglect.
An 8-year-old girl is very quiet and is a good student. She loves to read and do crafts. She is in foster care.
A 14-year-old boy is very outgoing and loves the Red Sox. He lived with his Dad, but his Dad is now incarcerated. There were no family connections that could provide him an appropriate home or foster families available so he is living in a group home.
Would you be interested in volunteering to be a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and getting to know a child like this? Our volunteers receive a comprehensive training and then are asked if they would like to advocate for a child who has been the victim of abuse and/or neglect. Our volunteers meet with the child at least once a month. Volunteers also talk with various adults in the child's life. With support from the staff at CASA, our volunteers stand up and represent the best interest of the child in court proceedings. We ask that our advocates volunteer with the child for the time they are involved with court. While that time varies widely, the average time is two years.
We need more CASAs statewide, but have a critical need in the Lakes Region. We start a new training in May. Applications are available at www.casanh.org
CASA of New Hampshire
Last Updated on Monday, 07 April 2014 08:42
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to make comments referring to letters to editor written on April 4 and 6, 2014. I don't think I have seen such hateful letters written in a week as this.
It is my opinion that Mr. Maloof, tired of seeing the President of the United states being referred to in such a matter in the past month and responded as I would when reading letters of hate, distortion and disrespect. The letter he wrote was honest, to the point easily verified.
A letter on Thursday stated his letter contained no evidence to back up his opinions, all truthful. To answer that "talking point" I will. The writer stated that 37 percent of white folks voted for the president, did not mention who the other 63 percent voted for. On Saturday another writer wrote, "droves of white people voted for Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. Which is it? I guess what number a drove is confusing.
In 2012 of the 10 poorest states, nine voted for Romney, New Mexico voted for Obama. Of the 10 richest states, nine voted for Obama, Alaska voted for Romney. Our state is seventh richest state in the union, unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent. I guess it's fair to blame that on the president also.
The point Mr. Maloof makes, and clearly stated, was the red states receive the most federal dollars. This one fact — and I repeat, fact — the right-wing party won't touch with a 10 foot pole. A writer on April 6th stated that president hated him his children and grandchildren. I can't imagine the president told him that. I think he meant to say that they will be saddled with the national debt as he often mentions.
If you live in a blue state, your tax dollar goes to Washington, red states take it home. That has nothing to do with the president. I can add here help for you is on the way. Read the Ryan budget.
The next "talking point" which is the easiest to prove wrong is, "When John Kennedy lowered tax rates and when George W. Bush did, in both cases revenues increased. Completely false. Google: Bush tax cuts 2002. Read Bush tax cuts reduced revenues by about $1.8 trillion between 2002-2009. Other points of interest, read "Bruce Bartlett Bush tax cut failure, three good reasons to let high-end Bush tax cuts disappear this year." Compare Kennedy, Reagan and Bush tax cuts, a good read.
In 2008 a looming recession prompted President Bush to sign a stimulus package. Google economic stimulus act 2008. I will be interested to see what the nitpickers write in a letter to the editor about this evidence. I now think the right should talk about their 2014 candidates, two recycled senators, a man from Alton running for governor who doesn't know whether he lives here or Maryland. The Democrats love this story, can't wait for the voting to begin.
I think it's time to talk about 2016 presidential candidates. Since President Obama, although elected twice isn't qualified, I can hardly wait to see the qualifications are for a eye doctor from Kentucky has, or a traffic director of New Jersey has.
I don't need talking points, facts only.
To close on a very happy note, a topic that was always on my mind was planes loaded with dead and seriously wounded military personnel landing in Dover Delaware. While sitting here half listing to Lou Dobbs on Fox News, he announced that no military personnel died in Afghanistan last month. God bless the troops and the president of the United States of America.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 April 2014 08:34
To The Daily Sun,
We are hearing in the news that Obamacare hit its objective of signing on 7-million people. And that is all we hear.
How many are under the Medicaid expansion? How many have made a payment and really are signed up? How many had insurance before and signed up for Obamacare and do not have the coverage that they had before?
But the real question is how many of the 7 million did not have insurance before? This was the whole purpose of Obamacare. . . wasn't it?
In New Hampshire, I think 20,000 people signed up for Obamacare. More than that had their insurance that they were happy with canceled. How many have had their insurance payments increased dramatically since the inception of Obamacare?
With all the billions we are paying for this new health coverage in the U.S., wouldn't it have been cheaper if we just spent the money and covered the people who did not have insurance and leave the rest of us 85 percent that were happy with our coverage alone?
And to think we now have the IRS involved in our health care.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 April 2014 08:28